Employee arrested for embezzling from Durst Lumber pleads guilty

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published July 21, 2020

 Andrew Maurer

Andrew Maurer

BERKLEY — A Macomb Township man who was arrested on a felony charge of embezzlement has pleaded guilty.

In a court appearance July 1, Andrew Maurer pleaded guilty to one charge of embezzlement of $50,000 or more, but less than $100,000, for stealing thousands of dollars from Durst Lumber & Ace Hardware in Berkley.

Maurer will be sentenced at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 12, by Circuit Court Judge James Alexander. Maurer’s attorney, David Kramer, declined to give a comment on his client’s plea.

According to a report from the Berkley Public Safety Department, Durst Lumber found evidence in February that the 21-year-old had been embezzling from the business. Through the department’s investigation, it was discovered that Maurer, Durst’s “information technology employee,” had been taking money since 2017.

The report states that Maurer stole $14,506.16 in 2017, $31,591.52 in 2018,  $11,765.76 in 2019 and $18,443.57 in 2020, adding up to a total of $76,307.01 during the period.

“The general idea is that they were able to link the account he was making the return transactions on, and we were able to go all the way back to 2017, and (we were) able to find several thousands of dollars each month that were being returned to an account for purchases that weren’t made by the subject,” Berkley Public Safety Detective Lt. Andrew Hadfield said in a previous interview. “He was using a way to say there was a return without there actually being a return of property and was crediting that to his account.”

“He may say I’m returning a $300 item, but that item was never sold and he wasn’t legally returning it,” Hadfield continued. “He would process that transaction three or four times to show a total of, let’s say, $1,400 returned, but that would go directly to the suspect’s credit card as money back to his account.”